The day the circus met in N22


I'm no Quentin Letts, but I'll do my best to describe what happened at Monday night's Full Council (at which the budget was agreed by the Labour sheep, sorry, councillors).

The Mayor, nice-but-dim Cllr. Gina Adamou, listed her official engagements. She had attended an event to celebrate a Haringey Lesbian, Gay, Bi-sexual and Transgender event. She told us that everyone was "happy" (get it?) and that we in Haringey have lots of "talent" (she been on Gaydar again?). Bless!

Sometimes councillors have very good reasons not to attend council meetings. But given the Labour majority is only three, you would expect both sides to ensure maximum attendance at the not-too-onerous schedule of full council meetings: there are opportunities to defeat the administration and it's the only council meeting guaranteed media coverage.

Yet one LibDem was late and two were missing altogether(Cllrs. Baker and Cllr. C. Harris). Cllr. Winskill (Crouch End) was absent (in the loo? Making the tea?) from the vote against the Labour budget. Astonishing! If Cllr. Knight (the 86 year old Labour member for Seven Sisters) can still get to meetings and sit through to the bitter end, why can't the younger opposition members show such dedication?

Cllr. Mughal (Dim Leb, Noel Park) made his maiden speech calling for the Council to support local businesses. Just where does your party have its Focus leaflets printed, Cllr. Mughal?

Among the bunch of nonentities comprising the Lib Dem group, Cllr. John Oakes (Bounds Green) has never distinguished himself, being known only as 'the one with the wooden leg'. Last night, however, he was one of the awkward squad, and had to be ordered by the Chief Executive to shut up about a matter which is subject to a court investigation. He hadn't a leg to stand on!

Sad and confused Cllr. Aitken (the Conservative-turned-SNP-turned-Conservative-turned-Independent-turned-Pro-Life-turned-Ulster Unionist-turned-Conservative-turned-Lib Dem member for Crouch End) started off by eloquently seconding a good motion on the Freedom of Information Act - which should be renamed as the "Ability to Pay" Act. He then, rather bizarrely, told us about a FoI request from a Hampshire resident who asked her local constabulary how many eligible bachelors there were in their ranks. Almost 600, according to the answer, of which 200 were uniformed. What this has to do with Haringey is anyone's guess - and he didn't declare his interest either! How sad! How confusing!

This farce was making the fast-talking Cllr. Meehan, the Council Leader, red-in-the-face angry. He stood up, screamed at the Libs, mocked Saddo Aitken and threatened to withdraw his troops from the Chamber. I thought he was going to have a heart attack! I think the Chief Exec. should keep a team from St John's Ambulance on standby at future meetings.

Shining amidst the shit were Cllr. Kaushika Amin (Lab, Northumberland Park), a rising star and Fib Dum Justin Portess (Highgate). He may not say much, but that puts him head and shoulders above his Dim Leb colleagues who can never resist making prats of themselves. Portess, elected just last year, looks like he can't believe he has walked into a 4-year stretch with the cabal of inadequates he must call colleagues. I bet Lynne Featherstone never told him it would be like this! Hopefully his £10k+ annual stipend cushions the misery somewhat!

The worst two were Dhiren "Techfresh" Basu (Lab, Seven Sisters) and Cllr. Winskill, for missing a key vote.

Cheeky Chappy Cllr. Gideon Bull (Lab, White Hart Lane) was confirmed in his role as the borough's Court Jester.

12 comments:

David Allen said...

Great post, Justin! I hope the whole of Haringey Council reads it _ and the officers too! (I expect they'll find it here tho).
I see you don't mention FibDum leader, Neil Williams _ I know that the Labour group call him 'The Humourless Bitch', but did he really not say or do anything that would amuse your readers?

Justin Hinchcliffe said...

Williams? She's had eye surgery (now ditched the glasses!).No doubt paid fo by the hike in cllrs' pay. Cllr. Dodds has had new double-glazing installed throughout his house...

David Allen said...

£10k is enough for Lasik, a cleaning lady and then some!

Croydonian said...

Hooray for democracy...

Good stuff - more please.

Matt said...

Council meetings have generally improved from how they were when I first got elected in 2002, but Monday night was a bit of a return to the bad old days in some respects.

It's a shame you weren't there for the budget meeting two weeks ago when the detail of the budget (rather than just the council tax level) was discussed - an altogether more productive meeting. Well, I say productive but of course the end result was the Labour budget going through.

For some reason there was almost no one at the budget meeting on the 5th (including press), maybe it wasn't publicised very well?

Matt said...

oh and although as you might expect I'm not going to respond to any of the more personal points in your post, Carolyn and Catherine both had good reasons for being absent from Full Council, some things in life are unavoidable.

Justin Hinchcliffe said...

But Cllr. C. Harris has a terrible attendance record for Full Council, doesn't she? Maybe she didn't expect to win in Noel Park? And what about Cllr. Winskill - dumb or what? Labour was elected with a tiny majority of three. At Monday's vote on the budget, their majority was six! Methinks you need a new Chief Whip!

Ellee said...

I had to laugh at your opening line because Robin Page accused LibDem councillors in South Cambs of being sheep and he was reported by them - the humourless lot - to the Standards Board. You have been warned!

Justin Hinchcliffe said...

Hi, Ellee. I can't be reported to the Standards Board - I am not a cllr!

Anonymous said...

"cabal of inadequates" - so inadequate they won 27 seats in Haringey last year.

How many did you win?

Justin Hinchcliffe said...

Hello Dum Lib (Mark Pack?), says a lot about your supporters...

Did you lace them with pills?

Ellee said...

Thanks for the clarification, I don't know why I thought you was.